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Paraic Hallinan, the Sinn Fein representative for Dromore, has strongly condemned the local government T.Ds over the government’s announcement that they intend to cut all funding for night time transport initiatives in rural Ireland.

“Throughout my canvass during the local election campaign” stated Mr Hallinan, “ many people expressed concern over reports of an imminent cut to the rural transport scheme. This scheme is a lifeline to many elderly people who need it for their only social occasion during the week. It is a necessary service to allow elderly people in rural areas to continue to live independently.”

“The cuts announced by the government will affect rural evening and night time transport in Sligo, Donegal and Cavan, services will expire on July 10th and will not be renewed by the department. As we have seen earlier this year when it comes to cuts in public transport it is regional and rural areas that are first in the firing line. The local government T.Ds have been silent on this issue and it appears that they have no understanding of the importance of rural transport to people throughout rural Sligo. The loss of this vital service will be detrimental for the rural community, for jobs and most of all to those at risk of social exclusion.”

In conclusion Mr Hallinan called on the Minister to “end his short sightedness, West Sligo has suffered enough neglect from the government, it is high time to stand up for the area, these cuts must be reversed now.”

For confirmation contact Paraic Hallinan @ 087 2853064


Massive Blow to Rural Ireland -- Hallinan

April 2009
The Sinn Féin candidate for the West Sligo area, Padraic Hallinan, has described the Budget as a massive blow to rural Ireland. Speaking in Dromore West he was responding  specifically to  the cuts in REPS payments and to Sustainable Energy research as well as to  the overall impact that the tax increases, income levy and the range of cuts will have on ordinary families.

Mr Hallinan  said:  “The  specific cuts in the agricultural sector, most notably  the  reduction  in REPS payments, will add further to the downward pressure  on  incomes,  particularly of smaller farms in the west and northwest  which rely greatly on REPS.  The cut to sustainable energy research will also mean the ending of renewable energy projects that promised to create jobs. Above all perhaps it underlines the absolute hypocrisy and bankruptcy of the Greens.

“The  diesel increases and the cuts in the subvention to CIE will obviously affect  peoples’ mobility  and increase isolation, and in combination with all  the  other  cuts  we  have had to date, to schools, the Sports Capital grant  and  so  on  will have a devastating impact on rural communities and force  many  many  thousands  to  once again leave. Ironically,” concluded Mr Hallinan, “they will be joining in exile with the wealthy elite of this state who refuse to pay tax, who are untouched by the Budget and who in reality employ very few people here. It is good to know the Government knows who their real friends are.” ENDS

For confirmation contact Padraic Hallinan @087 2853064


During his visit to Sligo last Wednesday the Sinn Fein E.U candidate Councillor Padraig Mac Lochlainn joined local election candidate Mr Thomas Healy on an inspection of the Collooney to Castlebaldwin stretch of the N4.

This section is widely regarded as being the most dangerous part of the Dublin road and has witnessed many serious accidents. Despite promises from both government and opposition elected representatives there is as yet no firm commitment to upgrade this roadway.

During the inspection Mr Healy pointed out the particularly dangerous junctions to Cllr Mac Lochlainn along with poor visibility areas. “This section of the N4 is a vital artery for the entite region”, stated Cllr Mac Lochlainn. “Despite years of promises  the project is still at the draft preliminary design stage and will only be progressed following the completion of the Tubbercurry Bypass documents by Sligo County Council. This amounts to blatant discrimination against infrastructural projects in the west and demonstrates the lack of strategic balanced planning to this region from successive governments. When I am elected as an M.E.P” concluded Cllr Mac Lochlann, “ I will seek priority funding for the Collooney to Castlebaldwin section of the N4 and will also campaign to provide a single Governmental Department with overall responsibility for Regional Development”. CRIOCH


MacManus--Farm Cuts Are Attack on Rural Ireland  (23-Oct-08)

Sligo Sinn Féin Councillor Sean MacManus has described the savage cuts in the Budget allocation for agriculture, fisheries and food as an attack on rural Ireland. In particular Councillor MacManus was scathing in his criticism of the cuts proposed in the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme and Disadvantaged Area Payments which will hit low income farmers worst.


Councillor MacManus said: “The outcome of this budget amount’s to an all-out attack on farming, the most successful and largest employing indigenous sector of our economy. It is an industry that was almost sacrificed at the WTO and is now being undermined by the wholesale withdrawal of investment in research, disadvantaged areas and land transfer that will be directly responsible for forcing more people out of farming and that, in turn, will cost more jobs. Fianna Fail and their new friends the Green Party don’t seem to care about the future of the Irish farming industry.


It appears that Minister Smith will cut the ¤80 payment on the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme in half from next year, this is estimated to cost Sligo farmers over ¤500 on average. This cut, coupled with the decision to cut the Disadvantaged Area Payments which will see farmers in Co. Sligo facing a cut of ¤1015 on average, is a direct attack on many areas of rural Ireland. In particular it will directly affect the income of the most vulnerable farming sector, many on low income and situated on marginal land-holdings.


“Coupled with the miserly government decision to cut the Early Retirement Scheme and Young Farmer Installation Scheme, both of which were scrapped in last weeks Budget, this adds up to a sorry message to Irish farming.

“These cuts—which may cost up to ¤400 million-- represent a vote of no confidence in the rural economy. Instead of building on our advantages in the food sector and the potential for expanding the production of energy crops, this Government is opting for short term savings that will result in the loss of jobs and the further undermining of farm households and rural communities in general.”  



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